Watch a favorite news anchor report. What points do they emphasize? What words do they stress more than others? Why? If you were to see an article about the same topic in the newspaper, would those same words be bolded or underlined? Compare the different medias if possible!
Discuss the importance of multiple perspectives with your child in many different contexts, especially when searching for veracity, or truth. Even news reports, which are supposed to report factual information free from bias and prejudice, are affected by people’s opinions and points of view. Watch part of the news together and detect the opinions – usually they are pretty obvious, but sometimes subtle!
Write your own editorial column! Choose a current event article that you can use as inspiration to be a journalist and write your own article. Highlight the facts and underline the opinions in the article. Ultimately, you will only use the facts (and just think about the author’s opinions) to write your own article with your opinion on the presented topic. Possible topics: election 2008, Beijing Olympics, back to school, a sport event or game, etc.
Watch or listen to the news. Take notes on how they convey information. What parts do the reporters/ anchors emphasize, exaggerate, or blow up? What parts do they say quickly or skip over? When the story is finished, do you understand the main idea enough to be able to form your own opinion?
Sensationalism is a tactic used by some journalists or types of media to get the attention of readers. They sometimes “bend the truth” to make a story more interesting. Other times, they completely make things up. On your next trip to the grocery store, look at the words and pictures on the front of magazines. How many off those stories do you think are 100% true? Here’s something that is real, and should be sensational, but you won’t see it on the news! http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/sharks/